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Bass on my HD650's seems to be lacking..?

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

I recently purchased the HD650's and the bass seems surprisingly weak, at least compared to my previous Senns, the excellent HD25-1 Mk II's which are also supposed to be accurate reference monitor phones. This is slightly confusing as the HD650's are almost double the price of the HD25's so I was expecting bass on a par if not better. There's no doubt, even only after 20 or so hours of this apparent 'burn in' stage that the HD650's surpass the HD25's in all other areas giving a beautiful well rounded sound but I'm really surprised by the lack of bass and oomph. I could understand if I was used to a more deliberately bass head pair of phones but the HD25's are supposed to offer an analytical neutral sound and their bass is really powerful compared to the HD650's.

 

I'm also confused since I heard some complain the bass on the HD650's is a little exaggerated - well I'm getting the exact opposite. Am using them through an RME 9632 sound card and Fii0 E9 amp - do you think the bass will improve over time. Perhaps the HD25's have exaggerated bass after all...?


Edited by aaronnt1 - 10/31/11 at 4:47pm
post #2 of 36

Don't let anyone tell you to upgrade your amp to unlock their "potential".

 

Is it overall bass volume that's lacking, or is it bass impact? How hard a kick drum seems to hit, for example. As a closed headphone with good seal, the HD25 is probably going to have a better sense of bass impact, especially if you're not in a very quiet house.

post #3 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Head Injury View Post

Is it overall bass volume that's lacking, or is it bass impact? How hard a kick drum seems to hit, for example. As a closed headphone with good seal, the HD25 is probably going to have a better sense of bass impact, especially if you're not in a very quiet house.



Well I would say it is lacking in both bass volume and impact. Example, the beginning to Pet Shop Boys 'West End Girls' (ok, go ahead laugh! - actually I'm more of an orchestral fan but was using more rock and pop songs for testing) has an electronic kick drum during the intro, on the HD650's it sounds very flat and there is no weight behind it at all almost just a slap sound where as on the HD25-1's, there is a real oomph behind it and you get a sense of feeling the impact in your chest. It's the same for bass guitars, like the bass in Phil Collin's 'Easy Lover', it sounds all well balanced on the HD25's but unnatural on the HD650's as it is quite bass light.

 

If anyone knows the track 'Desert Search for Techno Allah' on Mr Bungle's Disco Volante, at the 1:50 mark there is an awesome weighty bass percussion effect in the background which is my usual go to passage to test bass on head phones and of course you can hear it on the HD650's but it has real impact on the HD25's...wonder what's going on with the HD650's...?

post #4 of 36

From my experience listening to the HD650 on a really expensive system, I can agree with Head Injury that amping will not make a day and night difference in any part of the HD650's sound, they're more subtle nuances to be enjoyed but its definitely not the amazing difference people claim to hear.

 

As for the OP's bass issue, closed headphones do typically offer for bang for your buck bass-wise so that may be your problem and also it may be your expectation of the headphones to begin with, the HD650 are known for their darker and laid back sound and good mids and bass but they're not meant to be bass monsters.

 

I would listen for some more and if you really don't like the sound, consider another pair of cans.

post #5 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronnt1 View Post

If anyone knows the track 'Desert Search for Techno Allah' on Mr Bungle's Disco Volante, at the 1:50 mark there is an awesome weighty bass percussion effect in the background which is my usual go to passage to test bass on head phones and of course you can hear it on the HD650's but it has real impact on the HD25's...wonder what's going on with the HD650's...?


I'm not hearing a lot of bass at 1:50, but after 2:00 there's a lot. It's not especially impactful though. Lots of sub-bass, some of which the HD25 is probably rolling off. As a result the mid-bass stands out, giving you a punchier feel than there's supposed to be.

 

Here's a question: At the point I mentioned (after 2:00, guessing about 2:05) do the HD25s rattle your head? Not just hit hard, but actually vibrate? The HD650 may do that.

 

Please don't tell me the LCD-2 is bass light, you'll break my heart redface.gif

post #6 of 36

From what i know the E9 doesn't Add more bass to a headphone lacking on bass, its relatively transparent. 

 

I think your 650's needs more burn-in. 


Edited by fabio-fi - 10/31/11 at 5:31pm
post #7 of 36

Sorry, double post. pls delete. 

post #8 of 36

I recently bought a HD650 as well. Using it with Asus Xonar D2X sound card and Pro-ject Headbox SEII amplifier.  The bass impact really depends on a song and your source.  Some songs have a weak bass impact, but some have very punchy and powerful bass.  I have some particular songs that I like to use when testing bass...usually something like Axel F. from Halord Faltermeyer, which combines low sub-bass with punchy bass , and is IMHO a great test for bass.  My HD650 really have a powerful punch with that.  Maybe your headphones are broken, not burned in properly, or your amp / source is simply not good enough. 

 

Try some tracks with really emphasized bass to see whether your HD650's are capable of producing a lot of bass....simply go to youtube and type "i wanna love you bass boost".  That's what I usually use to see how much bass headphones are really capable of putting out. The song itself is annoying, but bass lines are nice and clean, no distortions, and it goes really low.  Be careful with volume though!!!   It begins quiet, but when bass hits, its extremely loud. My HD650's make me feel like my brain is going to melt when listening to this at slightly higher volume.  Really really powerful impact.

 

post #9 of 36

Maybe Op want to check this thread:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/493420/hd650-bass-light

 

Have fun! 

post #10 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by derbigpr View Post

I recently bought a HD650 as well. Using it with Asus Xonar D2X sound card and Pro-ject Headbox SEII amplifier.  The bass impact really depends on a song and your source.  Some songs have a weak bass impact, but some have very punchy and powerful bass.  I have some particular songs that I like to use when testing bass...usually something like Axel F. from Halord Faltermeyer, which combines low sub-bass with punchy bass , and is IMHO a great test for bass.  My HD650 really have a powerful punch with that.  Maybe your headphones are broken, not burned in properly, or your amp / source is simply not good enough. 

 

Try some tracks with really emphasized bass to see whether your HD650's are capable of producing a lot of bass....simply go to youtube and type "i wanna love you bass boost".  That's what I usually use to see how much bass headphones are really capable of putting out. The song itself is annoying, but bass lines are nice and clean, no distortions, and it goes really low.  Be careful with volume though!!!   It begins quiet, but when bass hits, its extremely loud. My HD650's make me feel like my brain is going to melt when listening to this at slightly higher volume.  Really really powerful impact.

 

i had that same amp and a similar sound card not too long ago with the hd 650s. most of the time, the hd 650 had sufficient bass for all my music. never muddy, not overpowering, and just enuf punch for electronic. what i like about the hd 650s bass is that it goes quite low sometimes and will surprise you.

 

the hd 650s are definitely capable of producing really strong bass with the right amp/source

 

 

post #11 of 36

HD650 will never give you the bass impact of an HD25-1. Closed headphones are pretty much always better at this. And HD25-1 isn't completely flat, it definitely has more bass than the HD800 and HD600 for example, which are supposed to be really neutral.

post #12 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubstep Girl View Post

i had that same amp and a similar sound card not too long ago with the hd 650s. most of the time, the hd 650 had sufficient bass for all my music. never muddy, not overpowering, and just enuf punch for electronic. what i like about the hd 650s bass is that it goes quite low sometimes and will surprise you.

 

the hd 650s are definitely capable of producing really strong bass with the right amp/source

 

 



Yea, HD650's drivers are definitely capable of producing a lot of bass, definitely more than HD25-1, it just that they're very neutral cans, they won't boost bass in music. They will reproduce as much bass as the song has, but they're definitely able to produce crazy bass with songs that have artificially boosted bass.  And difference is, HD25's have a very in your head bass, while HD650's have a big bass, more similar to the type of bass that big floorstanding speakers produce.

 

By the way, I see you have Woo Audio 6 now?  Did you notice a lot of difference between it and pro-ject amp?   I'm planning to buy a better amp in future for my HD650's just to see what they can do when they're working at full potential, if its worth it.

post #13 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by derbigpr View Post

By the way, I see you have Woo Audio 6 now?  Did you notice a lot of difference between it and pro-ject amp?   I'm planning to buy a better amp in future for my HD650's just to see what they can do when they're working at full potential, if its worth it.



I did just that less than a week ago, selling my old setup and my fiio e7/e9 for a headroom desktop amp + astrodyne. My impression is that it is certainly an improvement. It isn't night and day, but it is an improvement that I feel warrants the $700 gap between the two setups. The main reason I upgraded was because I was hearing a lot of static through the e7/e9, and I wanted to make sure I had something to handle any flagship models I might buy later on. I'm very happy to say that this is no longer an issue at all, but certainly there are minor improvements all over the scale. The brightness switch I'm finding also lifts that "darkness veil" just a tad which makes the hd650's much much better for accoustic in my opinion. I actually enjoy them as much for accoustic as I did with my k701s.

post #14 of 36
Thread Starter 

@derbigpr

my post was about the bass on the HD650's compared to the Senn HD25's - not that there was no bass coming from the HD650's. Of course different songs will give different levels of bass. I think you may be right about them needing more burn in, there's nothing wrong with my source which is an RME card. Besides, I was testing both headphones on the same set up.

 

@Aizura, "HD650 will never give you the bass impact of an HD25-1. Closed headphones are pretty much always better at this. And HD25-1 isn't completely flat, it definitely has more bass than the HD800 and HD600 for example, which are supposed to be really neutral."

 

Ok, thanks, that's useful to know - more bass than even the HD800's? Wow.

 

post #15 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronnt1 View Post

@derbigpr

my post was about the bass on the HD650's compared to the Senn HD25's - not that there was no bass coming from the HD650's. Of course different songs will give different levels of bass. I think you may be right about them needing more burn in, there's nothing wrong with my source which is an RME card. Besides, I was testing both headphones on the same set up.

 

@Aizura, "HD650 will never give you the bass impact of an HD25-1. Closed headphones are pretty much always better at this. And HD25-1 isn't completely flat, it definitely has more bass than the HD800 and HD600 for example, which are supposed to be really neutral."

 

Ok, thanks, that's useful to know - more bass than even the HD800's? Wow.

 


Even if you tested HD25 and HD650 from same source and amp, HD25's are much easier to run and will sound very good from pretty much any source.  I can't agree that HD25's have more bass than HD650's, not a chance. I demoed a lot of headphones in the store when buying HD650's, including HD600's, HD25's, D2000's and Q701's.  And HD650's together with D2000's were able to produce by far the highest amount of bass. HD25's have a very tight and fast bass, they're probably more punchy than any of the headphones I listed, but HD650's shine when playing jazz, classical or similar music that has big slow deep bass notes. 

Listening to other types of music, all headphones had pretty much equal amount of bass, difference was only in the speed,  since they're all pretty neutral and don't exaggerate bass. But when I played songs with boosted bass, HD650's were a clear winner, even straight out of the Yamaha integrated speaker amplifier, without a proper headphone amp.

 

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